The Great blue turaco is the largest species of turaco family endemic to Africa. It has a bright blue body, rounded wings, long tail, and strong legs. Both the males and the females are similar in appearance and their coloration doesn’t change throughout the year.
Great blue turacos are found in West and Central Africa. They live in rainforests and savanna areas with forest patches.
Great blue turacos are gregarious, non-migratory birds; they live in groups of up to 10 individuals and several groups may gather in one large tree. These birds are weak flyers, but they are strong climbers and are able to move nimbly on branches and through vegetation. Being fairly arboreal they rarely come down to the ground, only to drink or to bathe. Great blue turacos are active during the day. They feed starting from early morning and until the dusk; during the mid-day heat, the birds may rest in shades of the tree canopy. Great blue turacos are vocal birds and are usually heard at dawn and dusk. They make loud guttural 'kok-kok-kok' and also soft trills.
Great blue turacos are monogamous and form pairs. Their breeding season depends on location. When the pair is formed, both adults begin to build the nest. It is a platform made with dry sticks and placed in a tall tree, often near water. The female lays 2 eggs and both parents incubate them for 29-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents. They leave the nest 6 weeks after hatching but stay with their parents for up to 3 months.
Despite being widespread Great blue turacos suffer from deforestation, hunting, and trapping for trade in some parts of the range. In the Bandundu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these beautiful birds are actively hunted for meat and feathers.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Great blue turaco total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.